Right after a nearly two-calendar year closure owing to the pandemic, the meditation gardens at the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas reopened to the public final thirty day period.
The lushly landscaped gardens — which contain a koi pond, unique flowering vegetation and a amazing clifftop ocean check out — had been at first landscaped and planted by the yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, who launched the intercontinental Fellowship in 1920 in Los Angeles. He later opened the Encinitas retreat, hermitage and ashram center in 1937. Entrance to the gardens has normally been absolutely free, and countless numbers of readers from all around the world stop by every single calendar year, according to Fellowship spokeswoman Amy Correia.
Just one of the highlights of the gardens is an aged Monterey pine that was supplied to Yogananda as a present. Recognised as the “Ming Tree” or “Little Emperor,” it has been cultivated as a large bonsai. It sits on a bluff above the ocean behind a massive wood display to defend it from solid ocean winds. Also in the back garden is an historical Aleppo pine, African coral trees, a large ficus tree from India, supporter palms, a Hollywood juniper, a flame-thrower palm and a bull horn acacia.
The 17-acre hermitage home Yogananda opened 84 many years back has aided define the city’s id, which includes its golden lotus blossom-topped towers on South Coastline Freeway and Swami’s Beach, the well known surfing location at the foot of the residence. The backyard was developed to offer readers a put to relaxation and ponder in peace. The Encinitas residence is just one of extra than 500 temples, retreats and ashrams that the Fellowship operates close to the environment.
Born in India in 1893, Yogananda has been broadly credited with helping introduce the philosophies of yoga and meditation to the Western planet. He also encouraged harmony involving individuals of different faiths, races and cultures. Most of these suggestions have been spread for the duration of Yogananda’s 10-year lecture tour in the U.S. and Europe from 1925 to 1935 and in India from 1935 to 1936.
Following that, he retreated from the community eye to aim on writing up his teachings. Most of this writing was done at the Encinitas hermitage, which was secretly built for Yogananda as a shock through his years overseas. The assets was ordered and development was underwritten by his top disciple Rajarsi Janakananda, a self-created millionaire from Louisiana whose delivery identify was James Jesse Lynn.
In January 1938, Yogananda committed the opening of a Golden Lotus Temple on the location where by the meditation gardens now stand. The temple had a 4-tale glass observation tower and big windows that made available followers an unobstructed view of the ocean. But within 4 many years, the erosion of the shoreline below caused the land underneath the temple to turn into unstable and the building had to be eliminated. Today, services are made available at a pair of temple properties a handful of blocks away in downtown Encinitas.
In December 1946, Yogananda published his memoir, “Autobiography of a Yogi,” which has due to the fact sold a lot more than 4 million copies and been translated into 50 languages. The Fellowship marked the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication in 2021. For the reason that of the pandemic, Correia claimed quite a few of these celebrations were being held on the internet, including group meditations, talks and lessons.
In 1952, Yogananda died of heart failure though concluding a speech at a supper for the browsing Indian ambassador at the Biltmore Resort in Los Angeles. He was 59. Janakananda, who designed the Encinitas hermitage, succeeded him as Fellowship president until his very own loss of life three decades later on in Borrego Springs.
Accessed through iron gates, the meditation gardens entrance is at 215 West K St., between 2nd and 3rd streets. Several hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and closed on Mondays. The gardens will also be shut on Wednesday and Saturday for private activities related with the Yogananda’s Jan. 5 birthday celebration. For much more information on the gardens, check out encinitastemple.org/visiting.